ESPN FC Extra: Derby day at the Cottage
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said he believes Fulham will be a threat in the Premier League after recruiting a number of experienced players over the summer.
Wenger has come under fire for his lack of transfer dealings so far, but Fulham counterpart Martin Jol has acted swiftly to bolster his squad by bringing in the likes of Darren Bent, Scott Parker and Adel Taarabt.
As a result, the Arsenal boss is expecting to face potent opponents when his side travel to Craven Cottage for their first away league game of the season on Saturday.
“Fulham have signed one goalscorer [Bent], a guy who can give the final ball and he has a guy in the middle of the park with a lot of experience [Parker],” Wenger said.
“Parker is not the youngest any more, but what you lose a bit with maybe physical quality, with age you can gain in positioning on the field and guiding other players. On that front, Parker has always been a very motivated player. He still has that hunger. Even for Tottenham last year, he was an important player.
“Taarabt is a guy who can give a final ball, who can create a difference. He has a very good technical level. They have made good signings and this will be a tough game for us.”
“We were disappointed after Saturday, but I said that it was under special circumstances and the result didn’t reflect the game,” he said. "It was important to respond quickly for certainly the most important game of the start of the season [against Fenerbache], and we did that well.
“Every time we go there [to Fulham], the pitch is small. The crowd is close. It’s not only technical as they play as well a technical game, but against us they always put a lot of physical commitment in. It’s usually a big fight.”
Wenger confirmed that he has no fresh injury worries ahead of Saturday’s game, with full-back Nacho Monreal in contention for a starting spot after returning to full fitness.